Dolly Parton is making good on staking her claim in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, with the construction of the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, her newest attraction in the Smokies, and the treasure – buried and otherwise – already has begun to arrive and take shape at the venue.
Set to be complete in May, the construction phase is a $9 million project, in addition to the initial investment in the property for a total of $28 million.When it opens, the fun and adventure starts when guests first arrive at the entertainment attraction. The elaborate exterior of the building gives people just a small glimpse of the excitement that awaits during the show, which includes magnificent pirate costuming and special effects. Visitors will walk underneath a waterfall on their way to pick up their tickets to begin their Pirates Voyage.
Construction on the Pirates Voyage building, located on the Parkway adjacent to The Island in Pigeon Forge, began the first week in January. The first, and biggest, task was to “build” the lagoon, the centerpiece of the set that will house the two pirate ships where the action of the entire show takes place. The digging of that foundation required removing more than 281 loads of dirt via dump truck for more than a month (that’s 4,500 cubic yards or 7,500 tons of dirt); that part of the project was completed on February 22. That 15-foot lagoon soon will hold 300,000 gallons of water. The installation and finishing of 600 cubic yards of concrete and 50,000 lbs. of steel in the 30,000 square foot arena began the week of February 25.
An extensive nationwide talent search began as soon as this entertainment project was announced last fall, and the cast of 20 has already begun show rehearsals and intense training for the acrobatic and diving skills required of pirates and mermaids alike in this show. One of the most anticipated phases of construction will happen in late March when the exterior starts to take shape and the large Pirates Voyage sign is placed outside the building.
“Among our ‘pirates crew’ here for our new Dinner & Show, we like to say that we are going ‘overboard’ with the details as we prepare everything – from the show elements to the new four-course menu to the exterior,” said Corporate Director of Marketing Steve Cruz. “This is going to be a show that guests to our Smoky Mountain area are not going to want to miss. People have been asking for details, so we thought now would be a good time to share some of those.”